"Terrified" Tom Ford launches debut film in Venice

Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:29pm EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

VENICE (Reuters) - U.S. designer Tom Ford admits he is terrified.

The man credited with turning around Gucci before launching his own design line has traded fashion for film with his debut feature "A Single Man," starring Colin Firth as a middle aged gay professor mourning the loss of his younger lover.

Ford based the movie, which has its world premiere at the Venice film festival on Friday, on a novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood.

"Really no one's seen it yet, so of course I'm terrified because in a way it's the most personal thing I've ever done and it's the thing that is the most expressive of who I am," the 48-year-old told Reuters in an interview.

"If you know me as a fashion designer, people would think that I'm one thing -- slick, sexy. That's something that I do as a product.

"This (film) for me was the first pure artistic expression that I've ever created so in that way it's much more personal to me and I'm more vulnerable in a way because it is so personal."

The early signs are good for Ford, with several critics in Venice praising the movie and tipping Firth to win the best actor prize at an awards ceremony on Saturday.

Ford said he shared some traits with the central character George, played by Firth, who contemplates suicide after his lover is killed in a car crash. Julianne Moore plays Charley, his former girlfriend, confidante and neighbor.   Continued...

<p>Fashion designer and film director Tom Ford arrives at the 66th Venice Film Festival September 10, 2009. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi</p>